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NHK (日本放送協会)is the name of the entire Japanese Broadcasting Corporation, also known as Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai. It owns 14 different channels in Japan, with 8 Japanese channels and 6 national channels. Its headquarters are located in Shibuya, Tokyo.


For the early 20th century, NHK was the sole radio broadcasting company in Japan. After 1940, some other forms of media were starting to take shape, and in 1953, NHK began providing television broadcasts.

That year, NHK started the Tokyo Television. In 1954, both Osaka Television and Nagoya Television were created. Many stations followed, including the first educational station which began in 1959.

NHK’s first color broadcast was in 1960. It made its first satellite broadcast in 2000 and its first digital broadcast in 2003. In 2007, NHK stopped all analog broadcasting.

Currently, there are NHK owned channels for almost every type of television service, including News, Educational Programming, Weather, Sports, Music, Documentaries, Children’s Shows and Cooking shows. They also have a “Super News” program with updates every 10 minutes.


NHK is a paid using what are known as “receiving fees” – every household in Japan that uses a television (with few exceptions) must sign a contract with NHK indicating that they will pay the receiving fee. Legally, all television owners must sign this contract and make the payment, but owning multiple televisions in your household does not require to pay or fill out more than one contract.

The purpose of the receiving fee is to ensure that NHK is and can never be owned or influenced by the government. To make sure that is possible, the Broadcast Law was created so that financing from all individuals that own a television will be able to cover all of the costs of broadcasting.

The receiving fee is not terribly high, equating at most to 26,100 Yen or 241 US Dollars per year if paid early (if paid bi-monthly, 259 American dollars per year or 28080 Yen).

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